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    BRATISLAVA, April 14 (RIA Novosti's Leonid Sviridov) - Candidate for the post of Slovakia's president Vladimir Meciar thinks that the prospect of the NATO alliance's development is in close cooperation with Russia. He stated about this in an interview with the RIA Novosti correspondent on Wednesday.

    According to the leader of the Movement for Democratic Slovakia, the latest NATO's expansion "is not spearheaded against anyone".

    The expansion took place when Russia left Central Europe politically. The NATO alliance simply filled in a vacuum, said the former premier of Slovakia which was recently admitted to the North Atlantic alliance together with six other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

    In the opinion of the Slovak politician, Moscow has left this region also economically, and nobody expected that this would be done so quickly.

    Slovakia deems it important "that the Alliance is interested in close cooperation with Russia". "I regard it a prospect for NATO's development," said Meciar who got the support of 33% of the voters in the first round of the presidential elections. The second round will be held this coming Saturday.

    The presidential hopeful also believes that after Slovakia joins the European Union on May 1 it should simplify the entry regime for citizens of Russia.

    The eastern border of Slovakia is becoming the external border of the European Union, however this should not become a hindrance for Russian tourists to visit not only Slovakia but also other countries of the European Union," Meciar said.

    In his words, issuing of entry visas could be organized right on the frontier passage. The Slovak politician does not see any great problems in this." He noted that Italy and Germany are already simplifying the procedure of obtaining entry visas by many categories of Russian citizens. "I'm convinced that Slovakia should join this process", Slovakia's probable president said.

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